Great and Easy Flat Bread

Courtesy of Michelle Borders


3 cups whole wheat flour (we mill our own flour at home)
1 tsp sea salt
1 1/2 cups warm water


Mix the flour and salt in a bowl. Slowly add the water, working it into the flour until the dough comes together. It should not be wet, but it should be soft. You can make it slightly stiff at first, then add water as required while you work the dough. Knead until very soft and silky, about 20 minutes.

If possible, let the dough rest at room temperature for 4 hours or overnight; if you are in a hurry, make the chapathis right away. Pinch the dough into about 12 balls, golf-ball size. Keep them covered with a damp cloth while you first round each one smooth, and then, one at a time, flatten them with a rolling pin on a floured board, making them approximately 7 inches across. Don't roll the pin off the edge of the round or the chapathi's rim will get too thin. Shape them all, and stack with a little flour and waxed paper between. When you have only a couple to go, heat the griddle. It would be about pancake hot, a medium-high heat. If it is too hot, the chapathis will burn, but if too low, they won't puff up. Best of all is to work together with a friend, one rolling and the other baking.

Keep an inverted bowl over the uncooked breads while you bake them one by one so that they don't dry out.

If your griddle is not well seasoned, put a thin film of oil on it to keep each chapathi from sticking. The chapathis leave flour on the griddle that will burn, so wipe it off as you go along. You will use the dish towel for pressing on the chapathi to encourage them to puff up, and if it is white it stays cooler; form it into a smooth wad that is easy to hold.

Place the first chapathi on the hot griddle and let it sit there for one second, then turn it over. Use the cloth to apply gentle but firm pressure to the top of the cooking chapathi. Concentrate most of your pressing on the area just inside, but not on the edge. Press down hard, but don't let the cloth stick to the dough. The object is to help the chapathi form steam pockets; ideally it puffs up like a balloon, filled with its own steam. At first, the bread may blister in just a few places. By pressing, you can enlarge these small bubbles. Turn the chapathi over as soon as the bottom browns lightly. It wont brown evenly, especially if it has made the steam pockets, but will be a pretty pattern of brown and beige. It is done when it is brown nicely on both sides with no wet-pinkishsh areas.

This seems like a lot of work, but they really are easy to make, and they don't take long. Just a lot of instructions!

P.S. This recipe came from 'The Laurel's Kithchen Bread Book' by Laurel Robertson with Carol FLinders and Bronwen Godfre.

See other recipes submitted by Chet Day